Black Lightning Sets Premiere Date; Legends of Tomorrow is Moving

The CW announces the premiere date for its newest superhero show Black Lightning, delaying the return of Legends of Tomorrow.

Black Lightning and Legends of Tomorrow

Months after The CW teased viewers with an elaborate sneak peek of Black Lightning, its newest DC Comics superhero offering, the network finally announces an early 2018 premiere date for the series that will postpone the return of Legends of Tomorrow season 3 until February. The late start for the time-traveling heroes aboard the Waverider means Black Lightning will take their prime Tuesday night at 9pm real estate with The Flash as a lead-in, potentially providing the show with a healthy audience when it makes its debut.

The announcement comes as part of The CW's updated midseason 2018 schedule that sees the majority of its Arrowverse shows returning from the holiday hiatus in mid-January, along with shows like Riverdale, Dynasty, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Jane the Virgin. Valor the network's military drama that premiered earlier this year is the lone standout, as it will resume airing new episodes starting on New Year's Day.

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A delayed return for Legends of Tomorrow also means that the series will return with a new night and time. The most likely place on the schedule will be Monday nights following Supergirl, once the network has burned off the remaining episodes of Valor season 1, which ends on January 29. Check out The CW's updated schedule below for the various midseason premiere dates:

Invasion Crossover Arrow Flash Supergirl Legends of Tomorrow


8:00-9:00 PM             SUPERGIRL (Encore)

9:00-10:00 PM           VALOR (New Episode)


8:00-9:00 PM             CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND (New Episode)

9:00-10:00 PM           PENN & TELLER: FOOL US (Encore)


8:00-9:00 PM             SUPERGIRL (New Episode)

9:00-10:00 PM           VALOR (New Episode)


8:00-9:00 PM             THE FLASH (New Episode)

9:00-10:00 PM           BLACK LIGHTNING (Series Premiere)


8:00-9:00 PM             RIVERDALE (New Episode)

9:00-10:00 PM           DYNASTY (New Episode)


8:00-9:00 PM             SUPERNATURAL (New Episode)

9:00-10:00 PM           ARROW (New Episode)


8:00-9:00 PM             CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND (New Episode)

9:00-10:00 PM           JANE THE VIRGIN (New Episode)

Of all the Arrowverse shows, Legends of Tomorrow is perhaps the most flexible in terms of what series it is best paired with, though it's also the one most in need of a strong lead. Placing the series after The Flash not only gave Legends a solid lead-in audience but it also provided The CW with a block of superhero shows that freed up a night of the week (aside from Friday) for less superhero-oriented programming like Riverdale and Dynasty. The successful pairing may have served as a test case for Black Lightning's eventual placement on the schedule, and in the event that Legends does take the Monday night at 9pm slot, its pairing with Supergirl should make for another strong superhero block of TV for the network.

The January premiere date for Black Lightning is something of a pleasant surprise and an indication that production on the series is running smoothly. After it was announced that the sneak peek shown during the Network Upfronts wasn't actually from a filmed pilot, it seemed the show might not premiere until later in the spring, alongside returning series The 100 and iZombie, and the midseason premiere of the network's new dramedy Life Sentence (all of which are currently awaiting official premiere dates). It seems now that even though it's not technically a part of the Arrowverse, The CW was intent on giving Black Lightning as much time as possible on the schedule alongside its fellow DC Comics brethren. Whether that's an indication of a closer affiliation to come remains to be seen.

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Black Lightning is set to premiere on Tuesday, January 16 @9pm on The CW.

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